Archbishop Elias Yanes of Zaragoza, Spain, said this week the existence of homosexual tendencies does not nullify one’s freedom and responsibility and that therefore homosexual acts could not be morally justified.
“The existence of persons who experience a sexual attraction exclusively or predominantly towards other persons of the same sex is a fact, the causes of which are not always well know,” but “the existence of these tendencies does not nullify one’s freedom and responsibility and does not morally justify homosexual conduct,” wrote the Archbishop in his weekly column for the diocesan newspaper.
The inclination of a homosexual person “is not ethically reprehensible” and for many constitutes “an authentic trial,” but “homosexual conduct, on the other hand, cannot be accepted from an ethical point of view,” he said.
Christian tradition “has always unequivocally held” that homosexual behavior “contradicts the truth about man as revealed by natural reason and by the revelation of God.”
Nevertheless, “independently of one’s sexual orientation or conduct, everyone has dignity as a person created in the image and likeness of God, and homosexual persons, as human persons, have the same rights as others” and they should “be treated with respect,” he added.
Bishop Yanes also underscored in his column that “marriage is not just another union between human persons.” Marriage and homosexual unions are “two essentially different realities from an anthropological and ethical point of view.”
“No ideology or legislation can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage in reality exists solely between two persons of the opposite sex who, through mutual personal donation, proper and exclusive to them, tend in a stable way towards the communion of persons and the procreation and education of children,” he said.
Therefore, he went on, “It is in no way admissible for the Church to make homosexual unions equivalent with marriage,” and furthermore, “any juridical equating of homosexual unions with marriage means granting them the status of a social institution, which in no way corresponds to their anthropological reality.”
The transcendence of conjugal love between a man and a woman is what gives marriage a social, institutional and juridical dimension, and at the same time, “by begetting and raising children, it contributes to the growth and stability of society in a way that cannot be substituted.” Therefore, “it must have the legal recognition and support of the state,” he said.